On Timely Financial Information

This isn’t what I had planned today, but this is too good to pass. Yesterday I saw an interview with Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND). Seems he called our financial crisis from the Senate floor in 1999. Here’s the interview, and then the rest of the post provides additional resources. “Thank you” public record for allowing us to see how individuals on Capitol Hill voted, which is interesting … very, very interesting.

 

Resources

On All-Time Reds

reds-logoOne of the biggest days of the year in Cincinnati is one week away – Opening Day. Although that topic is a post in itself, the official start of the national pastime stimulates a lot of thoughts. Lester’s Legends inspired this post has he is in the early stages of posting his all-time teams for each MLB team.

As a lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan, I contend Reds teams of the 1970s, especially ’75 and ’76 are among the great MLB teams; therefore, players from this era would dominate an all-time Reds team. With that in mind, here’s my 25-man team of 13 batters and 12 pitchers outside of the Big Red Machine era.

1B – Ted Kluszewski
2B – Bid McPhee
SS – Barry Larkin
3B – Chris Sabo
C – Ernie Lombardi
OF – Frank Robinson
OF – Edd Roush
OF – Eric Davis

Bench – Ron Oester (MI), Heinie Groh (3B), Cy Seymour (OF), Vada Pinson (OF), Bubbles Hargrave (C)

SP – Jim Maloney
SP – Jose Rijo
SP – Mario Soto
SP – Bucky Walters
SP – Tom Seaver
P – Paul Derringer
P – Eppa Rixey
P – Noodles Hahn
P – Bob Purkey

RP – John Franco
RP – Rob Dibble
RP – Wayne Granger

Manager – Bill McKechnie

Tidbits

  • The Reds have a strong history with middle infielders, and Brandon Phillips has the potential to be on this team.
  • Reds history is least blessed at third base
  • Baseball Reference the year-by-year lineup
  • List of Reds Mangers
  • Reds history

Reds logo is property of the Cincinnati Reds

On the Flintstones and the Elite 8

Who could ever forget people as Ann Margrock, Clark Gravel, Stony Curtis and many others? ABC brought us these (and so much more) in TV’s first animated, adult show – The Flintstones. Over the 166 episodes (1960-1966), producers Hanna-Barbera gave us countless memories.

The original 1960 opening was different than the song many know.

Watch a one-minute episode … this is great.

The Flintstones are in a commercial than can’t be imagined today.


Resources for More Information about the Flintstones

Elite 8 Predictions

These are tough picks; actually the other team could easily win.

  • UConn over Missouri
  • Villanova over Pitt
  • Louisville over Michigan State
  • North Carolina over Oklahoma

On Watching Golf

Besides the cold blasts of the wintery months of January and February, I also count on the start of the PGA tour. Not many of the early tournaments really strike my fancy, but how … how could one not enjoy Riviera, the craziness at 16 in Scottsdale, or the beauty and serenity of Pebble Beach.

As the plants start to perk up in the spring months, so does my interest in the tour. Doral and Bay Hill are two key stops on the way to Augusta, and then to the TPC at Sawgrass in early May: Simply more great venues, great sites, and great holes.

I enjoy watching golf on Sunday afternoon for the excitement of that final round. Golf is a great game, and one that I’ve played for a long time. It’s one on one – but not one on one between two great players – but one on one of the player with himself and with the course. At the PGA level, it’s so much about what the player is doing … that is thinking and executing.

Although full-contact golf may be an interesting twist for fantasy television, there’s no defense in golf. If the other player gets on a roll, the opponent is left helpless. That’s one of the reasons why Tiger is so good; when he gets it, there’s no one better.

No matter the player, golf fans love good shots. They wildly cheer – even if the player isn’t well liked or well known – and cheer even more so if the next shot is just as good or even better. Fans love the chase and watching the shifting leaderboard as multiple players give it their best.

Ah yes, I love watching Sunday’s final 9 holes, especially if there’s a competition. Watching a 10-0 baseball game isn’t fun, neither is watching the golfer holding a 4-shot lead with 3 holes to play. Sure meltdowns occasionally occur, but I don’t believe golf fans really like that.

I’ll watch a lot of the Master’s, the U.S. Open (my fav), and the British Open, but, regardless of the event and no matter who’s involved,  a good down-the-stretch golf event is as good as any regular sporting event – well, at least to me.

On Economic Shorts

On the Budget Debt
Basic economics teaches that an important role of government is to stimulate the economy during down times through investment. Although this ideal supports the current approach by the Democratic Congress and President Obama, the fact that the previous administration and a Congress (controlled by both parties during that time) miserably failed to control spending; thus creating our current quagmire. Thank you Washington! As all of you point fingers to each other, don’t forget about the three fingers pointing to yourself.

On the Global Financial Crises
David Brooks has an interesting perspective on the current economic/financial situation.

On the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
Both parties cite CBO statistics to make their point. Since they cite the same source and even the same report, isn’t the misleading nature of selective use of numbers obvious? Nonetheless, I’ve added a CBO link to the sidebar Resources so you can check for yourself.

On Congress & AIG
In reaction to the public outrage against recent AIG bonuses, the House of Representatives grandstands by passing a retroactive bill aimed at reclaiming much of the money. Regardless of its constitutionality, how would the public respond to retroactive tax increases? Nonetheless, the reactionary nature of the House continues as a demonstration of their ineptness. Columnist Thomas Friedman provides a good read.

On “I Quit”
For anyone who hasn’t seen this, here’s the resignation letter from an AIG executive.

On Linking Bailouts and Education
This is a brilliant letter to the editor from the 3/21/09 Cincinnati Enquirer.

I saw this bailout mania germinating years ago when schools became academies of collectivism and reward our little darlings regardless of how they actually performed. Effort was equated to excellence, and self-esteem was deemed a more important educational end point than achievement.
After a few decades of crowding the workplace with this faulty ethos, it should no one that bailouts are the best solution. They tried their best, just as we taught them; so let’s grade them an “A” for effort and “B” for bailout. Paul B

On a Final Thought
Economic turnarounds are naturally slow, thus not as easy as using a light switch. In the shadow of continued economic struggles, Congress will begin budget debates very soon. Odds are the following will happen:

  • Democrats and Republicans won’t agree
  • Moderates will be dodging bullets from the left, the right, the progressives, the pragmatics, and whatever the labels
  • Partisan posturing gets the priority over searching for meaningful solutions 

The most toxic assests in Washington remains to be the members of Congress and the special-interest conglomerates known as the Democratic and Republican Parties. By seeking and practicing party-first solutions, Congress continues to emulate Nero playing the fiddle while the fire rages across our country instead of Rome.

On Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 17

On Afghanistan
Ever since our leaders decided to militarily engage in Afghanistan, I’ve continued to wonder if that’s the best decision. History shows mighty armies of the British and Russians both left with their tails dragging behind. We fighting the Taliban, a group that our subversive efforts armed and helped gain power (as per Charlie Wilson’s war).

  • Does our mere presence in that country in the name of finding top Al Qaeda leadership actually motivating people to join Al Qaeda?
  • Would capturing Osama bid Laden create more harm than good?

David Ignatius’s recent column is a good read.

On City School Superintendents
Public school systems in the large cities throughout our country struggle for a variety of reasons, thus regularly rank low on state-scoring criteria. Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) is currently searching for a new superintendent. I’ve been in the area long enough to observe a search pattern, so I ask these questions.

  • Why do urban districts (like CPS) continue to search other urban schools for new leadership, thus not the successful suburban schools?
  • Better yet, if the suburban superintendents are so good, why aren’t they setting up to face the challenges in the urban districts?

On the Next Justice
No, there’s no opening currently on the U.S. Supreme Court, but Paulette at Let Us Talk tosses out a name.

On the Hall of Justice
I’ve never been into comics, but those who are will be interested in this article from the Cincinnati Enquirer about DC Comics’ Superheroes and the Hall of Justice of the Justice League of America.

On a BG Legend
I attended my first college sporting event when I was in grade school. I grew up near Ohio University and my uncle took me (and my cousins) to a game because he wanted to see a player on the opposing team known as a greater scorer. Little did I realize this would actually be my first Bowling Green game (I’m a BG grad).

Howard “Butch” Komives, a guard, was the nation’s leading scorer in the 1963-64 season with 37 points per game – long before the 3-pt line existed. The other day I read of his passing.

In another link to me, that same season Loyola (Chicago) won the national title, thus preventing Cincinnati’s bid for a third-straight title. (I was am a Bearcat grad and fan). Interestingly, the Falcons pounded the #2-ranked, undefeated Ramblers earlier that season. Sports fans will like this look-back perspective from Loyola and the 1963 tournament bracket.

On the Sweet 16 Games
Gotta Pick

  • Louisville over Arizona
  • Memphis over Missouri
  • North Carolina over Gonzaga
  • Oklahoma over Syracuse

Coin Toss Says

  • Michigan State over Kansas
  • UConn over Purdue
  • Pitt over Xavier
  • Villanova over Duke

On Something to Chuckle

On Two Special People

I like human-interest stories and this past weekend the Today Show gave me two great stories: one about Rebecca Alexander and one on Bill Cosby.

Rebecca
Not only is Rebecca Alexander a sister to NBC’s Peter Alexander, she also has Usher Syndrome Type III – a disorder leading her to being both blind and deaf. Despite her condition, her strength and outlook is amazing. Here’s the interview with an accompanying print story.

Usher Syndrome Resources from the National Institute of Health

Cosby
This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Cosby Show. Lester Holt used his interview with the legendary Bill Cosby to look back at the brilliant series. Plus see a grown-up Rudy.

Today Show interview, Bill Cosby quotes, and a clip from Season 8.